The Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club presents the Part 2 of Fly Fishing Film Tours 2023 film line up at the Aptos Grange during the October general meeting. We want this to be a fun and exciting event and as a way of recruiting new club members. Please invite friends to come and watch the movie with you. No food and or drinks during the movie since we cannot have them in the main room of the Grange. However, we will have time after the film to visit and snack in the side room. We will have sodas and water for sale, if you want anything else, you need to bring it.
17th annual FLY FISHING FILM TOUR (F3T)
The 2023 show will feature locations from Cuba to Patagonia, Mexico to Australia, Alaska, Wyoming, the Deep South, Massachusetts and beyond. Experience the achievement of a permit slam, follow one man’s journey from Mexico to the waters of Wyoming, explore the best international waters and compete for the legendary belt buckle. Join us for a journey of adventure, friendship and the best fly fishing action.
The F3T is the original and largest fly fishing film event of its kind. Come for the action and stay for the giveaways and camaraderie that will feed your fishing addiction.
While some parts of the country see the Autumn as a time to stow the fishing gear and prepare for the long dark winter, we are blessed with some of the best fishing of the season. Think Stripers, steelhead, Pyramid giants just to name a few, then add quiet uncrowded Sierra streams to make us realize how fortunate we are.
That being said, how about some great raffle prizes?
This month we have a pair of Costa sunglasses, a heavy-duty folding camping chair or a choice of TWO V-access Rod & Reel Packages (9′ 8wt w/ arbor VII Reel or 8’6″ 4wt w/ 06N CNC Reel).
Don’t miss out, buy your lucky raffle tickets.
Raffle tickets cost a dollar each, $20 bucks gets you 25. Click on the following link to purchase your lucky raffle tickets:
When I think of fly fishing, my mind often conjures up the iconic image from “A River Runs Through It”: the elegant overhead casting of a dry fly in the middle of a picturesque river. However, upon joining the Santa Cruz club about five years ago, I was surprised to discover that river fishouts had become a rarity. I was told that these outings used to be more common, but as time passed, the interest dwindled, and the club aged. Recently, we’ve experienced an influx of new members, and with their arrival, several new river fishouts have been organized. I’ve just returned from one on the upper Sac, and I’m reminded of the beauty and serenity of wading in a river.
Wading is good for your soul if you have good soles
Imagine my shock when I found the rocks in the upper Sac to be exceptionally slippery. For the past three years, I’ve relied on Vibram-sole wading boots for my angling adventures on rivers like the Stanislaus, Truckee, Putah, Firehole, and San Lorenzo with little trouble. However, during our upper Sac fishout, seven club members, all wearing Vibram-soled boots, took unexpected dips into the river. The following day, I replaced my Vibram soles with felt, and the difference in traction was remarkable. I was taken aback by the discrepancy, especially since fishing gear advertisements and videos often promote rubber soles as the modern choice, portraying felt soles as outdated. While there are places that ban felt soles due to environmental concerns, California isn’t one of them, and we frequently encounter slippery algae and granite here. I strongly urge you to prioritize the best traction boots available when wading. Below is a chart I sourced from Korkers’ website, illustrating the types of soles and their effectiveness on various surfaces.
Remember, traction matters, as does balance
My earliest fly fishing experiences were on streams where I could quickly move along the banks of small mountain creeks. However, the upper Sac fishout was a stark reminder that stream fishing can be more challenging than I recall. It’s not merely a lapse in memory; walking on streams becomes increasingly challenging with age. I’ve attached a graph depicting a simple balance test and its correlation with “perceived age.” As you can see, there’s a notable decline after reaching 40 years of age.
Now, I’m no expert in wade fishing, so if you require detailed information about equipment, you can seek advice from the club via Google Groups or visit a fly fishing shop for proper gear setup. However, here are some safety items I personally use: a wading belt, a wading staff, a whistle, a walkie-talkie, a cell phone, and a fishing partner.
My ultimate advice: don’t wait
This is counsel I’m personally taking to heart. My plan is to embark on more river fishing trips and maintain my physical fitness. Hopefully, I’ll continue to enjoy fishing from a boat or float tube when wading becomes more challenging. And for our younger club members, I encourage you to seize your “River Runs Through It” experience as soon as possible.
Wishing you great fishing adventures this October,
Scott Kitayama President, Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club
As the name implies, the October caddis is an insect that hatches out during October. It is particularly prolific on the upper Sacramento River. But can be found in many other places including the Merced River just outside Yosemite. If you are a beginner, you are definitely welcome and vices and tools will be available for you to use. The classes are free and materials provided. Students are encouraged to bring orange 6/0 thread or 120 denier. Thread will be available for beginners, please note if you don’t have orange thread, bring a white or light colored thread and we can use a sharpie to color it. Sign ups are important so that enough material is available for all that attend. Sign up at a club meeting or call Elaine at 831-688-1561. Please allow 24 hours advance notice.
This fly imitates a midge sending to the surface. The air bubble (bead) is making the ascension possible. Midges hatch throughout the year and most still waters and moving waters. It’s best finished using an indicator. Take this fly, and the October caddis that will be taught at the flytying class to the upper Sacramento and McLeod rivers in late October to mid November.
Hook: Size 16-24 (TMC, TFS 2487).
Thread: black 8/0
Bubble: One petite or extra small, clear glass bead plus 5X tippet.
Tail: dark rust, stiff bird, hackle
Thorax: Dark olive, super find dubbing.
Head: Black thread
1. Crimp barb. NOTE: end of shank is above barb
2. Attach thread 2/5 back on shank with about six wraps. Leave bobbin hanging at rear of wraps.
3. Slip bead onto tippet and position in the center. Fold backward and hold strands together. Place on hook shank, bead forward of eye, tippet to rear, make several thread wraps. Pull on tippet to move bed into position. Makes several snug thread wraps 1/8 inch to rear.
4. Bend tippet toward eye and snuggly tie down up to behind bead. Cut excess.
5. Cut about 12 barbs off stem of hackle keeping tips aligned. Lay on top of shank, tips extending about two hook lengths to rear of shank. Secure to shank behind bed with wraps to mid shank. Pull on barb butts positioning tips so they are hook shank length beyond shank. Attached to shank with touching wraps back to slightly beyond end of hook shank. Cut excess hackle butts behind bed.
6. Wrap thread forward, forming slender tapered body up to bead.
7. Wrap a small thorax, two wraps behind bead, one in front, two around base of bead.
8. Wrap a small thread head, whip finish, cut thread.
A few years ago, I posted an article in the newsletter with science-based conservation tips for fly anglers at: https://www.santacruzflyfishing.org/tag/november-2021/#post-3950. With the trend toward increased in angling pressure, drought and higher temperatures, I thought it would be a good time to revisit this subject. I found an article on the Fly Fishers International website that presents some great principles and practices for individual anglers that can help increase the survival rate of fish. Many of these were found in my previous article, but are certainly worth repeating. I must admit I haven’t always adhered to all these best practices, but I’m trying to be aware of them and become a better conservation-minded angler.
Fly Fishing Practices
Practice catch and release to help sustain and manage the fishery. This is especially important with all the challenges fish face. Land fish quickly. The longer the fish is played the more exhausted and stressed it becomes. Keep fish in the water. When removing the fly, keep the fish in the water so it can keep breathing. This is usually easier with a aid of a net.
Handle fish with care. Wet the fish and support it horizontally with both hands. Try not to squeeze too hard. This can be difficult when trying to control a slippery, lively fish. Avoid suspending the fish by its lip. Use barbless or crimped-barb hooks as they are easier/quicker to remove with less harm to the fish. It’s easier to remove a barbless hook from your body and clothing too!. A hemostat or other hook removal tool can be useful. If the fly is deep in the fish, cut the line off close to the fly as possible. When photographing fish, minimize time out of the water. Keep the fish in the water until the photographer says they are ready. When releasing, if the fish appears sluggish, gently hold it in the stream with its head facing into the current until it is ready to swim off. Carry a stream thermometer. When fishing for cold water fish—like trout—don’t fish when the water temperature approaches 70 degrees F.
Fly Fishing Gear and Flies
Use appropriate sized rod, reel, line and tippet that will allow landing your target species as quick as possible. Carry an effective hook removal tool. Use a rubber net whenever possible to help minimize damage to the fish’s skin and gills. Always use barbless or crimped barb hooks.
Protecting Fish, Water and Environment
Eliminate lead from the environment—BB weights and wire wrap for flies. Make sure you clean and dry (or other practical and effective method) equipment that contacts water when moving to a different watershed—especially when a body of water is known to have invasive critters like quagga mussels or New Zealand Mudsnails. Check local regulations for wading boot restrictions—felt soles are not permitted in some waters. Pack out all your trash, including tippet. Avoid stepping on spawning beds and redds. Don’t target actively spawning fish. Try to practice “leave no trace”.
For more details on this subject, go to: https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Conservation/Ethos/Responsible-Fishing-Practices
Spey Casting clinic will be Saturday’s October 7,14 and 21. Spey Casting is a style of presenting a fly in a down and across manner ( aka Swinging Flies)It utilizes special lines and facilitates casting in tight quarters.It enables one to use sinking lines and throwing larger flies with ease. It’s a technique used in fishing for Salmon, tout and Steelhead. It’ also has been used for Striped Bass and Shad. The first class would be ideal for those who have never casted a 2 handed rod. We will be learning the basics of casting and I will talk about the lines and their applications. It will be at the Jade St Park from 2-4 pm. We will meet on the lawn next to the Soccer field, space permitting. I will supply rods. Right now I have 2 people interested. I have enough rods for 6 folks.
Spey Casting clinic will be Saturday’s October 7,14 and 21. Spey Casting is a style of presenting a fly in a down and across manner ( aka Swinging Flies)It utilizes special lines and facilitates casting in tight quarters. It enables one to use sinking lines and throwing larger flies with ease. It’s a technique used in fishing for Salmon, tout and Steelhead. It’ also has been used for Striped Bass and Shad. The second class will be on the San Lorenzo River.
Going to have a clinic for club members who have fished from a float tube before, but have not fished the Forebay for Stripers. To get in the class, you MUST contact email@example.com. Class will be limited to about 10 people and I am also inviting some people from the Salinas Valley fish club.
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Spey Casting clinic will be Saturday’s October 7,14 and 21. Spey Casting is a style of presenting a fly in a down and across manner ( aka Swinging Flies)It utilizes special lines and facilitates casting in tight quarters.It enables one to use sinking lines and throwing larger flies with ease. It’s a technique used in fishing for Salmon, tout and Steelhead. It’ also has been used for Striped Bass and Shad. The 3rd class is scheduled for October 21, but it’s not the optimal tide, so I will discuss it with the class to see what they would like to do.
SCFF volunteers will be helping Trout Unlimited remove a barrier to steelhead spawning habitat on Little Arthur Creek in the Pajaro River watershed. We currently have enough volunteers planning to help, but cancellations are possible. Contact Bob Garbarino if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-247-2045
Join the Salinas Valley Fly Fishers for the annual clean up of the Salinas River fishing access. The event will be on Sunday November 19th starting at 9:00 am. Greg Smith is the Salinas Valley Fly Fishers representative for this event. Wear clothing for the weather of that day and if you can, bring gloves and a three prong hoe, as it’s the best tool.
Go South on Highway 1 towards Monterey
Follow CA-1 S to Molera Rd. Take exit 414 from CA-1 S and take Nashua Rd over the highway
Take the first right on Monte Road 1.6 miles to your destination. This is a dirt parking lot on the left side of the road before the twin bridges.
Since January 2023, we have 38 new members join averaging over 4 new members a month for a total of 221 members.
This amounts to a 20% increase in membership and going forward this creates an opportunity and challenge to bring new members ideas and new ways to provide ways to adapt to changing environments. As new members, please feel free to provide any suggestions to our Board members, Board President Scott Kitayama 650-279-5871 or myself Bob Peterson 831-251-8655
Mammoth Lakes (Click for address and map) Fishmaster: John Cook
UPDATE Both weeks of this Fishout has been filled. I am maintaining a waiting list. There are three people on the list currently. If I get enough I will think about getting another condo. Please email or contact me directly for inquires. John & Elain Cook - Fishmaster (831) 234-6515 email@example.com Dates: This Fishout will… Read More
Beer Can Beach (Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Sam Bishop - Fishing; Mike Lovejoy - Breakfast
Surf fish-out Saturday October 7, followed by breakfast at Mike Lovejoy's. Important location information and breakfast information Read More
Oct 14 : Kelly Lake – Watsonville (bass, crappie) – CONFIRMED Oct 14
(Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Scott Kitayama
Fishmaster: Scott Kitayama Location: Kelly Lake in Watsonville (Private lake limited to 10 people) Species: bass, crappie, bluegill Duration: 1 day Registration and Cost: No Cost, but you must contact Scott as the number of people fishing is limited. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am waiting on confirmation on this date, however I wanted to gauge… Read More
(Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Kevin Murdock
Event: O'Neill Forebay 'Stosh' Memorial Fishout Date: Thursday October 19 to Sunday October 22 (I chose this weekend for it's 'skinny' moon, less night feeding for the fish) Target Gamefish: Striped Bass Location: Medeiros Campground located on the Southern Shoreline of the O'Neill Forebay, access off of Santa Nella Blvd. (Highway 33) Hosts: Kevin Murdock … Read More
(Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Club Members
Greetings Club Members (Existing, new, soon to be), This though not a Fishout, but rather a year in review of 2023's great events held by our members. 19 trips planned in 2023 not all the trips planned were executed due to the high waters and weather early in the season but for some of those… Read More
Mar 15 : Upper Sacramento River Fishout (Dunsmuir) Date TBD (monitor river flows)
(Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Alex Ferber
Fishmaster: Alex Ferber Location: Upper Sacramento River with Potential McCloud River Side Trip Species: Trout Date / Duration: Tentatively March 15th - 17th, 3 Days … Read More
Apr 01 : Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 1 – April 7, 2024 – New Info
Pyramid Lake (Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Mike White - (831) 706-5556
The Pyramid Lake trip is one of the best-attended fishouts the club has, and for a good reason. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout cruise parallel to the shore in easy casting distance from shore. Read More
(Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Scott Kitayama
Fishmaster: Scott Kitayama Location: Kelly Lake in Watsonville (Private lake limited to 6 people) Species: bass, crappie, bluegill Duration: 1 day Registration and Cost: No Cost, but you must contact Scott as the number of people fishing is limited. Contact at email@example.com. On this Fishout, priority will be given to new members (limited to… Read More
The fishout on the upper Sac was from Sept 8th – 10th. Members stayed at the Sims Flat campground and in Dunsmuir. The days were warm, but in the early morning, you could feel fall in the air and the stream water temperature had cooled down. According to fish master, Alex Ferber, the upper Sac can be a fickle stream and the fishing was tough. Fish were mainly caught nymphing though there were dry fly opportunities in the evening.
New members that took advantage of the fishout included: Alex F, Scott A, Robert H, Clark C. Other members included: Scott C, Greg F, Bob G and Scott K.